Literacy (Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening)

IMG_20151023_121500744_HDRWithin contextualized, integrated, and technological content and contexts

Literacy is a form of currency needed to navigate the world of knowledge through language (written and spoken), visual images, critical thinking, task-based discussion, goal planning and implementation. In its various forms literacy contextualizes society, and at the same time demands analysis, evaluation, and synthesis: strategies needed for making sense of the world. Adult education embodies corresponding skills and strategies geared particularly toward enhancing the life and economic well-being of the adult learner, responsibility in contextualized education (authentic, hands-on, experienced-based, and relevant to work, home, community; addressing personal goals and interests).

Reading Assessments

From Assessment to Practice-Research-based Approaches to Teaching Reading to Adults, Part 1

From Assessment to Practice—Research-based Approaches to Teaching Reading to Adults, Part 2 (webcast)

The Assessment Strategies and Reading Profiles (ASRP) website has information on how to determine ABE and ASE learners’ reading levels through use of diagnostic reading tests

Primer in Diagnostic, Formative & Summative Assessments

Tools to assess readability & coherence of texts for more thorough comprehension

Reading Instruction

Evidence-based Reading Instruction—Alphabetics—Research & Teaching Strategies

Research in Spelling—Implications for Adult Learners

Making Sense of Decoding & Spelling: An Adult Reading Course of Study

Evidence-based Reading Instruction—Fluency—Research & Teaching Strategies

Fluency Development: Practice Makes Progress

Evidence-based Reading Instruction—Vocabulary—Research & Teaching Strategies

Lesson plan: Acquiring new vocabulary through book discussion groups

Vocabulary Notebooks—Theoretical Underpinnings and Practical Suggestions

The Role of Vocabulary in ABE

Vocabulary Lessons for Adult Learners

Evidence-based Reading Instruction—Comprehension—Research & Teaching Strategies

Reading Comprehension Strategies for Adult Literacy Outcomes

Effective Practices for Developing Reading Comprehension

Voice of Literacy: Comprehension Content Instruction (podcast) 

Text-Based Answers: Interview from NYS Education Commissioner on CCSS/CCRS/Shift

Lesson Plans for Reading/Writing

 The Change Agent : a NELRC/WorldEd semi-annual publication with leveled lessons and articles written by adult learners.  Accessible online with subscription.

Open Educational Resources (OER) to Increase Learning and Teaching of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in Adult Education

Reading and Understanding Recipes Lesson Plan

Creating Authentic Materials and Activities for the Adult Literacy Classroom

Effective Prompts for Quick Writes in Science & Mathematics

Goodwill Community Foundation learning resources

Online Teacher Resources including lesson plans for all instructional levels, K12 

Create a Graph

 Reading Resources

Teaching Reading to Adults: A pack of resources and ideas for adult literacies tutors

Teaching Learners What Reading is All About

LINCS Resources for Teaching Adults to Read

Getting Reading Results in the Classroom: What Research Tells Us (webcast)

Teaching Reading to Adults: A pack of resources and ideas for adult literacies tutors

STudent Achievement in Reading for intermediate adult learners in reading (grade level equivalency 4.0-8.9)

Improving Adult Literacy Instruction

Reading Skills for Today’s Adults

 Professional Learning Modules

Writing Assessments

Some Consequences of Writing Assessment

Writing Instruction

Writing Instruction (TEAL)

Developing Writers: An Eight-Part Professional Development Workshop

Collaborative Writing

Effective Prompts for Quick Writes in Science & Mathematics

Writing Resources.

Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading

Developmental Literacy

Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy

The Neurobiology of Reading & Dyslexia

Improving Adult Literacy Instruction—Developing Reading & Writing

Metacognition, Cognitive Strategy Instruction, and Reading in Adult Literacy

Digital Literacy

16 Websites Every Teacher Should Know About

Digital Learning

(2015) Integrating Digital Literacy and Problem Solving into Instruction

Connected Teaching & Personalized Learning—Implications of the National Education Technology Plan (NETP) for Adult Learners

Integrating Technology with Student Learning

Emerging Technologies in Adult Literacy and Language Education

Developing Discipline-based Critical Thinking Skills via Use of Interactive Technologies

Investigating the Language and Literacy Skills Required for Independent Online Learning

Preparing Teachers to Integrate Technology for Literacy Education

Learning With Computers: The Theory behind the Practice

Smartphone/iPad Use for Classroom Polling

Free Open-ebooks

Virtual Fieldtrips

Employability Integration with Literacy Acquisition

Time for US to Reskill?  What the Survey of Adult Skills says

Adult Literacy—Additional Research/Resources


Greenberg, D., Pae, H. K., Morris, R. D., Calhoon, M. B., & Nanda, A. O. (2009). Measuring adult literacy students' reading skills using the Gray Oral Reading Test. Annals of Dyslexia, 59, 133-149. doi:10.1007/s11881-009-0027-8.

Hall, R., Greenberg, D., Laures-Gore, J., & Pae. H. K. (2012). The relationship between expressive vocabulary and reading skills for adult struggling readers. Journal of Research in Reading. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2012.01537.x

Pae, H., & Greenberg, D. (in press). The relationship between receptive and expressive subskills of adult English learners’ academic L2 skills: A multigroup approach. Reading Psychology.

Pae, H. K., Greenberg, D., & Morris, R. D. (2012). Construct validity and measurement invariance of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III Form A in the performance of struggling adult readers: Rasch modeling. Language Assessment Quarterly, 9, 152-171. doi: 10.1080/15434303.2011.613504.

Pae, H. K., Greenberg, D., & Williams, R. S.(2012). An analysis of differential response patterns on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-IIIB in adult struggling readers and third-grade children. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 25,  1239-1258. doi:10.1007/s11145-011-9315-x

Taylor, N. A., Greenberg, D., Laures-Gore, J., & Wise, J. C. (2012). Exploring the syntactic skills of struggling adult readers. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 25, 1385-1402. doi: 10.1007/s11145-011-9324-9


Greenberg, D., Fredrick, L, Hughes, T. A., & Bunting, C. J. (2002). Implementation
issues in a reading program for low reading adults: A program designed to teach children and youth to read was used in two classes for adults. An explanation and description of the implementation, reports of learner progress, and the perceptions of the participants are discussed. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 45, 626-632.

Greenberg, D., Wise, J., Morris, R., Fredrick, L., Rodrigo, V., Nanda, A.O., & Pae, H. K. (2011). A randomized-control study of instructional approaches for struggling adult readers. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 4, 101-117. doi: 10.1080/19345747.2011.555288.

Rodrigo, V., Greenberg, D., Burke, V., Hall, R., Berry, A., Brinck, T., Joseph, H., & Oby, M. (2007). Implementing an extensive reading program and library for adult literacy learners. Reading in a Foreign Language, 19, 106-119.


Greenberg, D. (2008). The challenges facing adult literacy programs. Community Literacy Journal, 3, 39-54.


Greenberg, D., Wise, J. C., & Frijters, J. C., Morris, M., Fredrick, L. D., Rodrigo, V., & Hall, R. (2012). Persisters and nonpersisters: Identifying who stays and who leaves from adult literacy interventions. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s11145-012-9401-8


TEXT COMPLEXITY: This topic addresses CCSS/CCRS Anchor Standard 10:

Adult Literacy Education (ALE) Wiki is a place to review research and contributions from the field, and to contribute and respond to discussion.

Adult Education Literacy Instruction: A Review of the Research (2010): Kruidenier, MacArthur, Wrigley, NIFL. Of 100 qualifying research studies reviewed, 40 studies strongly supported best practices in reading for ABE/ESL. FREE.

How to Teach Content to Adult Learners is a publication (2006) of resources and research findings in various topics including reading content. FREE.

Applying Research in Reading for Adults: First Steps for Teachers by S. McShane (2005) is classic in the field, outlining the various profiles of adult learners, as well as evidence-based strategies to support reading education. FREE.

Teaching Adults to Read outlines scientific research for evidence-based practices in teaching comprehension, vocabulary, fluency and alphabetics (phonemic awareness and word analysis), basic components of reading. FREE.